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Old 03-29-2015, 02:25 AM   #1 
grike
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: TX, USA
First aquarium in years ; first NPL ever!

I love aquariums. I have owned only two bettas before (two fish ever before, tbh).
My first, Kyle (a male wild veiltail), lived to probably 5 or so years; the other, 1 or 2 (he was an unexpected gift, so I was completely unprepared for him and eventually I lost him to a bad water change D:).
My mom got an aquarium for her birthday, which lit me up and gave me a "sooo while we've got aquariums and fish prepping on the brain... Petco is doing a gal/$ sale soon" opening.
I asked my dad if I could get a 20gal long/29gal and he said sure. I brought up we already have 3 pets, and now the fish, and would that be too much to handle? My dad said I was the one caring for most of them and the house most of the time, so if I think I can handle it, it's fine.

I discovered the Walstad method of keeping live plants, and really wanted to try that.
First, I was going to do a 29 gallon single betta setup with kuhli loaches (literally only owned bettas before) and a mystery and a few nerite snails.
Then, after a while thought "Kuhlis are hard to find anyway, I'm neither here not there on them, I love bettas, I'll do a divided 20g L with 2!"
I dithered between those two options for a while, as well as whether an NPL was worth attempting. Because I have never worked with live plants before, and it seems a balancing act. (Also, I have no idea when I might be moving, but for that I thought "screw it".) I've wanted to try a planted tank badly for years, but I don't really have the means for ferts and such, so if I can save even a few months by depending on the soil and fish, it'll be worth it.
I am also disabled with very diminished energy and mobility, so the potential water change benefit and having a bit of a buffer to rely on if illness hits me hard was too good to not at least give it a whirl.

So here we are, tons and tons and tons of articles and forum threads later.
After a bunch of research, some of it collapsing upon each other, so dense it could be a black hole, there's progress.

Finally
progress, in the "I actually got a tank-y/fish-y related thingy" department.

So I decided why not try a journal now. c:
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Old Yesterday, 02:20 AM   #2 
grike
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: TX, USA
I crashed after that first post, so here are the actual purchases mentioned: 2 small plastic tubs!



Not much, but it's something.

These are 1.5 gallons, and will be used for quarantine. Small, I know, but I feel it'd be easier dose effectively if needed, and sick fish would need more stringent water care anyway.
They'll get a silk plant, a terracotta pot hide, and a craft mesh hammock each. I will simply suspend them in the main tank for heating (being very careful with splash and cross-contamination).

I've been store surfing trying to compare prices on all my supplies, and when I walked into Michaels, there was a massive store wide clearance sale.
I was able to get those two tubs for $4.99, the price of one. (One green, one blue, in case color-coding might become important later for some reason.)

Plain old Sterilites or generics of the same volume might have been a bit cheaper, but they strike me as a bit flimsy and most I see have wonky dimensions. These latch very securely, are sturdy, and have better dimensions to fit the hides and such.
I may upgrade to 2.5-5 gallon quarantines if I can ever find any suitable cheap tubs on sale.

Which may happen, as I don't plan to even see a fin for at least a month, probably way more, anyway. I want to allow my NPL to settle and make sure I can even keep up with caring for plants first before plunking fish and snails in there.

I allowed myself this one splurge that was not aquarium related, though; this little birdie 40% off for $1.49:



This was originally not an aquarium related purchase, but then I decided, since I got it the first day I started getting things for my tank, it will be my little aquarium guardian and mascot. I immediately named it Frederick, the first name to pop in my head. Looking it up, it means "peaceful ruler". Even more fitting. It will sit on the lid and survey its domain, ensuring all remains serene and calm.

Yesterday was the start of the $/gal sale! (I hope, unless I have been hearing totally wrong dates this whole time...)

My nearest Petco (or even any worthwhile town/store at all) is a good ~hour away, so I hope I can get into town before they run out. I know I'll definitely be in town on the 10th, but I have no clue how fast they typically run out of stock during these things.

Fingers crossed I can get that 20g long. (And that I don't wish I'd gotten that 29.) I'm debating on whether I should grab a 10g, too, "just in case".
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